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Courtesy of Wikipedia

Thus saith Wikipedia:

“The push of pike was a particular feature of late medieval and Early Modern warfare that occurred when two opposing columns of pikemen (often Swiss mercenaries or landsknechts) collided and became locked in position along a front of interleaved pikes. The push of pike would continue until one of the opposing formations collapsed, which would generally lead to massive casualties.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Push_of_pike)

When the lines of pikemen got in close, they could no longer push with their spears. At that point, they pulled out their swords and hacked and slashed. The only thing that could defeat a line of pikes was another line of pikes–that is, until they brought in cannons and could blow away whole lines of pikemen.

Groups of people with ideas can be like that, pushing and pushing against each other until one side wins by force or stratagem. Of course, war did not get quieter after the lines of pikemen got blown away, and neither does the conflict between groups of people with ideas go away just because one side wins a debate or massacres the opposition. Strategists came up with bigger bombs and debaters came up with better arguments.

Battles were never about the fields and hills; battles were never for the sake of this bridge or that mountain pass: battles were about the people in the cities and towns and villages. Even if a victorious army wanted the very land on which the battle was fought, they also gained everything around the battlefield. Debates are about ideas, but public debaters speak to the crowd as much as to their opponents. Debaters risk their own souls as they struggle for what ideas shall have dominance.

We here at Push of Pikes are all Christians. We agree on a lot of things, disagree on some things, and have bemused indifference about other things. Here you will see us working through ideas, hopefully getting a little closer to the truth. Enter the fray with us. Read on.

Blog contact: pushofpikes (at) gmail (dot) com

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